MS copy of journal of Cook's voyage in the Endeavour. At top of title page is the signature of Charles Paget, 1777, and at the bottom is written: "The best Naval Journal I ever read. A. Hervey". This copy of the journal is in three or four different hands, and is not complete, ending on 10 October, 1770. It is a composite of Cook's log and his journal, the log entries covering the whole 24 hours and not being summarized, and alternating with the journal entries until November, 1769. From 8 December 1769 this manuscript is a straight forward copy of Cook's journal.
James Cook was born in 1728 in Yorkshire. Apprenticed to a coal shipper in Whitby he began to learn the skills of sound navigation and accurate charting. In 1755 he joined the Royal Navy and steadily advanced. In North America he took part in the siege of Quebec City, and began coastal surveys of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In 1768 Cook was promoted to become commander of Endeavour Bark sent to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus. The Admiralty in 'secret instructions' asked Cook to find the mythical southern continent. In 1769 Cook circumnavigated New Zealand, charted its coast and took formal possession for England. On 19 April 1770 Cook sighted another coastline. Sailing north Cook landed at Botany Bay. And charted 5000 miles of coastline with great accuracy. Cook took formal possession of New South Wales for England. In 1772 Cook led a second expedition to confirm the great south land. In 1777, Cook's third voyage explored the Pacific coasts of North America and Siberia. Cook was killed on 14 February 1779 in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).